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      Monday, October 01, 2018

08:30 AM - 10/01/2018

The topic: I love my vet’s office

Remember when I took Opie back in and he got the antibiotic for his respiratory problem? Well, the vet asked if I'd like it if they ordered a big bottle of it that we could keep on hand, for issues like this. Not life threatening, but something simple.

I guess they trust that if it's worse, we'll bring the cat in for a checkup. Sure. We'll take the big bottle.

I'm glad we did. It arrived with the shipment for Rocky's meds. (OMG, that cat....six days was all it took for him to decide these tasty "treats" weren't tasty enough; ordered some junk stuff from Chewy, sixty-eight dollars worth and those junk treats, he likes. I use the bacon flavored paste to coat the chewable fluconazole tablets and push broken pieces of Friskies Party Mix into the paste along with just broken pieces of the Party Mix, he'll eat that - and broken pieces of Party Mix with a broken up terbinafine chewable works. So far. He likes that Party Mix a lot, he's gotten a little too aggressive biting them off of the little cup I make out of my fingers. Ouch.)

Opie's breathing got bad again. So, he's back on the doxycycline. Then, last Thursday, Lorelei got sick. She looked absolutely horrific. These things hit her eyes first. They were red and drippy. Not clear drippy, but reddish drippy. And not runny drippy, but thick drippy. Her eyes actually looked like they were sunken into her skull.  I gave her some boiled chicken, she ate, but in the middle of the night, she threw it all up. I gave her a quarter of a plain Pepcid, and the next day started her on the meds.

Honestly, she looked so bad, I was hoping she'd make it to this week. But one of the things my vet told me a long time ago kept rolling through my mind. "It takes at least three days before you see any progress from the meds." She wasn't getting worse, but she still looked pretty bad.

Saturday she spent a lot of her time outside laying on the cool grass. Her ears were white hot (fever, I guess). She threw up the meds once, but not again. Yesterday, she seemed more active, but she didn't want me touching her. At one point I tried to pick her up and when I touched her she started to shiver. But I held her to me, her face on my shoulder and she relaxed and started to purr. As the day went on, she was more active, more alert. She started to follow me around a little, sitting by my feet, looking at me and meowing. I'd pick her up and give her hugs, then give her food (in that shipment from Chewy were six different types of Sheba food). Each time I fed her, she ate a little more than the last time. And she kept it down.

She was peeing and pooping okay, there wasn't a problem there, but she was pretty weak.

Last night, when I fed the cats, she was right there with them. She went to the litterbox in the laundry room and when she was finished, she came into the family room, laid on the tile floor and began to clean herself. Butt. Belly. Chest. Arms and legs.  I hadn't seen her do this in over a week.

She jumped on Brian, headbutting his face and arms. She purred.

Last night, I came out to get a drink of water and she wanted attention. I laid down on the sofa and she crawled up onto my arms and put her face into mine. We fell asleep.

She ate a full section of the Sheba food this morning, at one sitting.

So, another seven days of meds (the directions call for ten days) and I think she'll be over this.

I'm really glad we didn't have to go to the vet. The weekend was really stressful for me, but I think she'll be okay. If it hadn't been for the meds, I think today would be a not so good day for all of us.

uri    terbinafine    rocky    opie    lorelei    fluconazole    cat meds   

      Friday, October 12, 2018

09:02 AM - 10/12/2018

The topic: Bunches of stuff

Let's start with geekstuff.

Last week I let myself get bogged down in tweaking my graphics program. There was an awesome offer of an upgrade to Corel's Paint Shop Pro Ultimate for less than thirty dollars. It also included a lite version of Corel's PhotoMirage, which had piqued my interest when it first came out, but research told me that you could find better programs for less money that did the same thing that cost less than seventy bucks. So, I passed. I just checked the Corel website and the version of PSP I got at a special, limited upgrade price, is going for a hundred bucks. So, I figured it was a pretty good deal and I jumped on it.

Windows 10 runs programs that are 32 bit or 64 bit. I have no idea what that means. What I do know is that my plugins, those cute little programs that do really fun things to graphics, like make a photo look like an oil painting, run on 32 bit versions of software. They won't run on 64. Yeah, I know, a 64 bit processor runs faster than a 32 bit, but a 32 bit plugin will NOT work when input into a 64 bit version of the software. So, I installed both versions on the laptop. Then I had to install the plugins.

Now, dear reader,  I don't know how familiar you are with software like plugins. But plugins are like the drawers or closets you never clean out. You just keep squishing more and more stuff into them. Some of the stuff is no longer useable, but you wouldn't know that because you rarely used them in the past and don't give them a second thought. Old teeshirts, coffee mugs (I have SO many mugs right now, I have no more room in the cupboards, this is a serious problem at this point), screwdrivers, hammers, you know, just stuff. And I finally decided to clean out my plugins.

I have them all in their own little computer cabinet with a label on it "Plugins". And as I upgrade my graphics programs or upgrade computers, I just save that file and copy it over to the new system. Obviously, some need to be officially reinstalled, the ones I paid for, the ones that need a license code, and that all takes time. And then you get the ones you've moved so often, they can no longer be activated without contacting the mothership where those codes are reset.

There was another instance where plugin #2 didn't work if plugin #1 wasn't activated. But plugin #1 would not activate. It was very frustrating. What I ended up doing there is copying a file from the registry on the PC in the office (I run this stuff on two devices), exporting it, deleting that entry on the laptop registry and importing the one from the PC. Plugin #1 won't activate, but it no longer matters because plugin #2 is a bigger, badder version of plugin #1 and it works nicely. I had contacted the company where I got them originally, but I bought the first one in 1999. So, there ya go.

And then there are the demos I never bought, or I did buy and they came with a new install, so the demo was still showing up in the plugin menu.

I finally got them all cleaned up. It took me days, but I got it done. It took me most of the week.

Then yesterday, the laptop internet was running slow so I figured it would be a great time to reboot the cable modem and the router. This shouldn't be a big deal.

It was. The laptop could no longer connect to the LAN. It couldn't see the other computers, it couldn't see the external hard drives that run as my own personal cloud on the router.

I reset the range extender a couple of times, finally got that working. But then, when I tried to connect to the other computers, I got a message asking for my credentials.

My what? Credentials? I didn't need them an hour ago, why do I need them now? What kind of fresh hell is this?

I did the obligatory Google search and found out how to make that stop. A privacy setting on my laptop that I needed to disable. Yeah, okay, got it.

Why is it enabled in the first place? Who did that? It wasn't me. Oh, yeah, right. Windows update. That's the only thing I could figure out. But fixed that and now all is back to normal.


geekstuff    computer   

09:45 AM - 10/12/2018

The topic: On to catstuff

Opie hasn't been doing well. Not much of an appetite, still sounds snotty and his ears are driving him nuts. A deep down itchy thing going on.

He doesn't have mites, he's been getting ear drops and nothing seems to help. Earlier this year, when he had the abscess in an anal sac (I think that's what it was, whatever it was, it was nasty), they also cleaned out his ears and sent me home with meds for those. Months later, he still has the problem.

And he's still congested. So, I called the vet yesterday and she prescribed a different ear med. While I was waiting for the call back, I got to thinking maybe it wasn't something that needed antibiotics, but maybe it was allergies. I called back and gave the receptionist my bright idea. I called a few hours later and she agreed that it may well be allergies since meds aren't working.

She prescribed this stuff called hydroxyzine. A very small dose, twice a day. One of the side effects is drowsiness. Nah, not. Not Opie.

I will say I like that he's eating a lot more. And his ears, while still itchy, aren't as bad as they were. I don't know if this is a gradual getting better or something that works right away. I guess I'll find out. I'm still going to give him the antibiotics, because he's still congested, even though his ears aren't as bad.

When Brian went to pick up the med yesterday, he found out that our old vet not only retired, he sold the clinic to one of the vets he'd hired about four years ago, the wonderful woman who helped us so much with Skipper and DaNiece.  The other vet, who just started earlier this year (or was it last year?) is leaving. His wife is a vet for Sea World and she's being transferred, so he'll be gone shortly.

I guess there's another vet there who we haven't met yet.

All these changes....


opie    catstuff   

10:08 AM - 10/12/2018

The topic: And now, the craftstuff

Light hand? A light hand? I guess mine are made of cement.

So, I got those cards done last week when I wasn't tweaking plugins. Wait, I did the cards first, then the graphic plugins. That's right, that's how I did it. I think. Whew, my brain is on FIRE today....

I couldn't finish the cards because I didn't have enough ink to stamp them all. The ink got here last week, so the stamping was done after I figured out the best way to do it (the stamp itself is big and I kept getting a blank spot in the center of what I'd stamped).  On a wooden table, not my work table, with my Fiskars stamp press. I've had this for close to four years and it comes in mighty handy.

I screwed up a couple, but I came away with twenty decent cards. The top part has scor tape on it, setting it down just so on double sided adhesive foam is tricky and if the two meet at the wrong angle? Done. You don't pull them apart. I found a nice snowflake design in my digital paper files I got on Etsy a few years ago and ordered paper to print it on. I know most of my envelopes are made from cardstock, but I didn't care for the heavy stuff I had and I ordered some lighter weight stock from Amazon. I really should have checked what I had on hand before clicking on submit.

I found a really nice paper in my stash, coated on two sides for inkjet printing. It was letter sized, so I pulled out my We R Memory Keepers envelope punch board to check the size of paper needed and it was 8.25" x 8.25". Letter size will work! I printed out about thirty sheets and cut them down to the right size and these will work nicely with the cards I made.

Now we come to the light hand. I cut out enough pieces of cardstock to make thirty boxes. It took a day just for that. Then I came up with this brilliant plan of embossing them, then using a brayer to roll glitter glue over them. The problem is the folder I used isn't ideal for this. The pattern is too far apart, so not just the stars got glittered. There's glitter in between. The online instructions all call for a light hand. Not working. I've been messing with these a couple of hours each day and I finally decided no one is really going to care, probably won't even notice.

So, I'm going to finish rolling the brayer on this paper today, then everything will be ready for assembly. Then, this project will be done! All three parts. Yay!

I still have a Christmas tree from last year to put together. The one I'm giving to the vet's office for Christmas.

But I don't need to cut any more paper.

When I'm done with this stuff, I think I'll get back to playing with the etching.


      Friday, October 19, 2018

06:42 AM - 10/19/2018

The topic: This is going to be a sad day

I'm pretty sure we'll be saying goodbye to Opie this morning. I think he had a stroke last night.

The new med did work, it made is COPD better, that hitch was gone from his breathing. But his actual breathing just kept getting worse and worse.

Yesterday morning, he wouldn't eat. I did get him to take a little baby food, but he barely lapped at it, then wanted down. I gave him his new med around three yesterday afternoon, then his other meds around six. Shortly after seven, I heard a meowing from the bedroom. I went in to check on who it was and it was Opie.

He was sitting at the door opening, he threw up. Just foam. When I cleaned it up, it was greenish. It was from the pill he'd gotten four hours earlier. He got back on the bed and around 8:30 last night, he was no longer on the bed and I couldn't find him anywhere. I got up every ten  to fifteen minutes, doing the rounds with a flashlight. Inside, outside, behind, under, he was just gone. Around 10:30 I told Brian to go to bed. Even though he was sleeping, it wasn't a real good place to sleep. He went to bed. I took his spot on the loveseat since three cats had taken the sofa and around elevenish, I heard noises in the office. I came in here and just listened. Noises from under Brian's desk. Opie was behind the old safe and was trying to go behind the trash cans. (They just block the outlet from peeing cats, there's no trash in them.) I got him out and set him on the floor. I watched as he walked around, obviously not right. His head was down and with his breathing, it sounded like he was sniffing things, but I think at his point, his sense of smell was completely gone. I picked him up and took him into the bedroom and put him on the bed with Brian.

Opie went under the covers. I figured he'd stay there. An hour later, I checked, asked Brian if he was in there and Brian said he left a long time ago. I found him in the dining room trying to get behind the cat food feeder. When he couldn't get behind, he was trying to climb over it. He was completely out of it. Didn't respond to my voice or my touch. There was no way in hell that he could get outside in this condition. I closed the door in the office and had a time of it in the garage, because that door hasn't been shut in a very long time. I finally was able to put the baby gate up, Opie wouldn't be able to navigate that, but would another cat knock it out? Most likely.

Brian was back in bed and he got out and was able to get the door shut. So, the gate wouldn't get pushed out. But watching Opie crawl the floor, I ended up setting him up in my bathroom. With a carrier, a blanket on the floor, food, water and litterbox. The only thing he did was get into the carrier and face the other direction. When he was out of it, he was walking the perimeter of the floor. He was no better this morning.

I think he had a stroke or whatever is in his nose/throat has grown enough to push on his brain. At this point he has no quality of life. The best option is to say goodbye.

It's going to be a rough day.

10:35 AM - 10/19/2018

The topic: Maybe not such a sad day after all

Before we went to the vet, I watched Opie in the yard. He had spent a little time in the bathroom trying to get comfortable in the litter box and I figured what the hell. I took him outside.

He did the ground sniffing thing and then headed towards the back of the yard, next to Brian's shop. Where he peed. He seemed a tiny bit more alert to me. Brian wasn't sure.

We got to the vet's around nine (me with "maybe we should wait a few hours" and Brian "I don't think he's looking better, I think it's wishful thinking"). I'd said let's just see what the vet has to say.

I told the tech all the stuff that had happened and he picked up on the new med. "This started since he started the new medicine?" Yeah, actually, it did.

The vet came in, looked Opie over and he said that Opie didn't look uncomfortable him. Not like he felt bad, just anxious. He'd looked up the side effects of the drug before coming in to check Opie out an anxiety was one of the side effects. It's was his opinion that Opie's crashing was a side effect. He most certainly wasn't advocating euthanasia at this point.

So, Opie got fluids and we paid the bill and now we're home. Opie is still sniffing everything, but he's not doing it against the wall or trying to get behind things.

Fingers crossed that was all it was.

opie    catstuff    bad reaction   

      Sunday, October 21, 2018

12:05 PM - 10/21/2018

The topic: A little this,  a little that

So, with all the cat problems last week, I didn't do much in the way of working on my craft project(s). I finally finished the boxes this morning. I need to make bows and I ordered a Bowdabra from Amazon. I want to make a fancier bow than just the one I have on my shoelaces. I have paper that needs to be scored and folded and glued so that I have envelopes and that will be it for what I started this past summer. It will be nice to be finished.

Then I can work on getting that green Christmas tree put together. The one that has the lamp in it. I really need to put up photos of the projects I've done this year. But I need to focus on it and my mind has been all over the place.

Opie is doing a lot better. He's eating like a champ. Friday night he ate a small bit, then a little more an hour or so later. I'd bought some Sheba Perfect Portions from Chewy.com and it doesn't seem like there's much in a container, but he worked at eating half of it. This morning, he was eating a full container at one sitting, so he's doing much better. Eating is great when you have a sick kitty.

He was pretty needy, wanting to lay on me or be held by one of us (makes it hard to get anything done). Yesterday I held him up to the top of the fence so he could look over it and he liked that. He was alert and purring. His breathing is still noisy, but I've come to the conclusion nothing is blocked, he can smell, and, after giving him some Greenies this morning, which he ate without a problem, his throat isn't blocked. I know he can smell because he's still getting his allergy meds and I started putting them in a piece of pill pocket last night. He smelled that sucker right away and the pill was gone in no time.

I am going to check with the vet tomorrow to see if we can get his doxycyline in pill form. The liquid just gets drooled out. If I can do the pill pocket thing with an antibiotic, I'm sure we'll have a better chance of seeing if it works. I noticed this morning he has a brownish discharge from his eyes, which may indicate some sort of infection. So....

Oh, and we're going to take our inflatable Halloween cats to the vet's office. Maybe they'll get more use out of them than we do. They're really neat, but there's no reason to put them out if no kids come by. Last year it was just neighbors from up the street.

Brian did buy candy this morning, just in case. But he was adamant that leftovers get taken to the vet's office the next morning. I'm okay with that. I have a hard time with sugar anymore. It's really kind of sad. 

vet    opie    making my own    craftstuff    catstuff   

      Monday, October 29, 2018

10:46 AM - 10/29/2018

The topic: Ah, Opie

He's just not doing much better. Maybe a little and I really have to watch him to see it.

The doxycyline pill form got here last Thursday and I started him on it. He's not that hard to pill. But he seemed to have a hard time finding it when it was wrapped in a Pill Pocket. I found this strange. Then I started watching him eat. He barely ate. He'd stick his nose in the food, lap a little, then walk off. And it dawned on me.

He can't smell. And that's one of the major things with cats eating. Is being able to smell their food. So, this weekend, I started syringe feeding him (always have Hill's A/D in the cat cupboard) Saturday morning, he wasn't sure what was going on and he didn't like it very much, but I got about 30ml of food into him and he kept it down. I did this again later in the day. Yesterday, we did the same thing, I upped the amount I gave him.

This morning was a lot easier. He swallows without a problem, so I know his throat is open, he eats most of what goes into his mouth (syringe feeding is messy). He got over 48ml at one feeding this morning, this was great. I don't want to overfeed him just yet, I want to make sure everything's working the way it should be. Well, this morning, after he ate, he went outside and was crying. I watched him as he dug in the dirt and pooped. It was a nice looking poop. And as many of us vigilant cat parents do, I squeezed the top part of the poo. It was hard, so he hadn't been going (nothing to go) and after the initial stool, the rest was firm and looked perfect.

But, as many of us cat parents have found out over the years, when you've had a sick cat and they finally go, the act of squatting seems to cause another reaction. The vomit reaction.

Yep. All of that food he got this morning came up. Oh, well, it was still early. I waited an hour, gave him his antibiotic (since he's actually been GETTING the med into his system, his phlegmy sounding breathing isn't as bad as it was). A half hour later, he got more food.  And he's a little more active. Not much, but a little.

I hadn't given him the allergy pill in a few days since there weren't that many left. And this morning his ears were seriously bothering him, so I called the vet and refilled the script. And gave him a pill this morning.

I don't know if he'll ever get his sense of smell back, but I have to do what I can do. If that means giving him a chance by feeding him a couple of times a day, I'll do it. When your body is weak, it's hard to fight off bad stuff and starving doesn't help.

I asked the vet for syringes for feeding and they're giving us a couple with the allergy meds today. Working with something that holds 60ml should be a lot easier than something that holds 12ml, you know?

I just glanced out the door and he was sitting in the sun, grooming himself. This is a great sign. I hope we can keep it up.

syringe feeding    opie    catstuff   

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lisaviolet is seventy something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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